I am developing a game and I am particularly interested in a Bastion-like mapping style. This is a good shot:

from http://supergiantgames.com/site/wp-content/uploads/Bastion_092010_00021.jpg

I am unsure about how to achieve that. Currently I use both Photoshop and Illustrator. Any ideas?

  • 1
    Yea, this is less about software and more about artistic skills.
    – DA01
    Feb 17, 2012 at 21:09
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    @DA01: Well, for someone looking to emulate a particular graphics style, picking the right software is still important. There's no point in him learning how to use Illustrator if he's trying to emulate a raster painting style. Feb 18, 2012 at 8:56
  • It's secondary to understanding the artistic style to begin with.
    – DA01
    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:27
  • The best way to learn a particular art style is by doing. You can't do digital painting, if you don't have digital painting software or if you don't realize that the art style you're trying to emulate is digital painting. That's hardly secondary. That's pretty much the first thing you need to get right. Feb 18, 2012 at 13:59

2 Answers 2


You certainly could do this in Photoshop. Bastion was more likely done in Painter 7, from Procreate, since that seems to be the preferred software of Jen Zee, lead artist on the game.

Regardless of the software you use, you can find many artists sharing their tips and techniques to make digital paintings around community sites like "CGSociety.org". Or if you're ready for a flood of information, straight up googling "digital painting tutorial" brings back TONS of links.

  • What do you mean by "from Procreate"? Isn't Procreate a separate digital painting app for the iPad? Feb 18, 2012 at 8:54
  • I'd guess Z-brush actually, not Painter :)
    – Scott
    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:10
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    Corel's Painter software was known as Procreate Painter for a while. When I poked around Jen Zee's portfolio, that's the software I found her mentioning using.
    – baudot
    Feb 18, 2012 at 9:25
  • @Scott: It seems very unlikely. The graphics just lack the ray-traced feel of games that use 3D models. Feb 18, 2012 at 14:11

The texturing or graphics look like they are hand painted, so you would need to use a software capable of digital painting, like Photoshop, or as someone mentioned Painter. You can get soft gradating effects in illustrator but it really is not suited for this 'painterly' style.

I have never worked with this style or angle, but i believe this is an isometric angled view so maybe look into tutorials on how to achieve this effect in either 3d software with textured polygons or using 2d graphics and tiling etc. Illustrator does have an easy way of creating isometric angles, using the Extrude and Bevel tool in the effects menu, but you would still need digital painting to achieve the painted 'style'.

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